The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has released the first cross-sector examination of freshwater challenges and solutions. Charting New Waters: A Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges is the culmination of an intensive two-year exploration of solutions.

The report identifies serious challenges to quality and supply, such as pollution and scarcity; competing urban, rural, and ecosystem needs; climate change; environmental and public health impacts; and economic implications. It offers actions to confront these threats and a plan to ensure that our freshwater resources are secure for the 21st century.

Among these recommendations is a range of management strategies across sectors, such as streamlining and better coordinating fragmented governance among federal, state, and local jurisdictions. Another key need is modernizing the nation's regulatory framework.

It also recommends that private-sector, academic, business, and agriculture leaders form an online database of successful freshwater governance models.